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Old 02-26-2021, 09:34 PM   #1
ratdude747
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Default Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Have a good story for y'all.

My dad has been wanting me to build him a gaming rig... nothing too crazy, just something that can run Sufferfest and Zwift (both are electronic bike trainer games) well while streaming (he's on a few teams... at age 64 no less!). A back burner project due to all the other stuff I have going on.

Anyway, a coworker approached me with their teenage son's dead gaming rig... no POST, wanted me to troubleshoot it. Took it on (out of morbid curiousity more than anything)... oh boy, what a POS. This thing is clearly a bargain basement build... cheapass bling bling gamer case with a junk PSU (jumper wire special!), noname motherboard (later find out it's a circa 2010 "x79" aliexpress wonder), 16GB of noname ("TT" chips) DDR3, a DVD-ROM of all things... but oddly enough name brand GPU (EVGA Geforce 1060) and a 480GB adata SU630 SSD. As I later found out, has a Xeon E5-2670 of all things. She's dead as a doornail, not even spinning fans. Quickly ruled out a bad case switch, and plugging in one of my spare PSUs (an Antec Earthwatts 650W) didn't help.

The coworker wasn't wanting to fix it... as they got ripped off something fierce, having bought it for $800 on Amazon a year ago... They'd rather get a PS5 as all their son was doing on it was Fortnite and casual crap. At least they won't get ripped off as bad!!!

I was able to work out a deal for the remains... $200. Not a slam dunk cheap/free score, but from what I can tell (ebay BIN prices) the GPU alone is worth that (I did test it first, and I confirmed it is legit!), the SSD being icing on the cake. The rest... the board, being fried (and noname!) is wall art, the case and PSU scrap metal (may reuse the case though???), and the rest IDK. Which means for my dad's build, means I need to figure out the rest.

(I'll get pics of the remains later; I ain't rebuilding it and didn't take too many pics due to this not being thread-worthy at first)

Looking for some suggestions... looking to go for something that will be reasonably future proof, but not needing somthing crushing either. Stability is a good thing, as while my dad used to be pretty good with computer stuff (he's who got me into this originally, and is right now back in community college learning web design), he's lost his knowledge ever since he stopped using win2K . Personally, I was thinking uATX (for space reasons) but otherwise, not sure where to start (AMD vs. Intel, what platform to use, etc.). While I do have Xeon... it's a sandy bridge Xeon, not exactly modern (and as cheap as these are on eBay, it's not really worth much assuming it's still good).

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Old 02-26-2021, 09:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

You didn't get hurt too bad considering that GPU. I've used quite a few ADATA SSD's, they've been very solid & reliable for being 'lower-end' SSD's.

Dont toss that Xeon & bad board, I wouldn't mind tinkering with it if you have up on it. That no-name RAM....meh...
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

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I've used quite a few ADATA SSD's, they've been very solid & reliable for being 'lower-end' SSD's.
Sounds like they are a ton better than the PNY CS900s!
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Sounds like a fun project, maybe you could get it all going with just a new mainboard and not be out by much?
If your dad prefers older operating systems remember that Win7 only works natively with some generations older CPU's.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

He has to have Win 10 due to software compatibility reasons.

I want to do him better than this POS with a new board. I haven't torn it down, but based on the thin wire and jumper wired PCIe plugs, I'm sure the PSU is a gutless wonder.

Last edited by ratdude747; 02-27-2021 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

OTOH, the PNY CS1111 and the PNY CS2211s seem solid in comparison! And it looks like those are earlier models. Wouldn't be surprised if they got discontinued.
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Time for some crappy pics:

Didn't get one of the case as a whole, but it's one of these:

http://www.azza-tek.com/m/2010-1275-122655.php?Lang=en

Specifically, the 250 version (3x USB 2.0, 1x USB 1.0).

Feels cheap and flimsy. I've seen (and dealt with) worse (at least they fully hemmed any exposed sheet metal edges!).

Mobo before extraction:



No brand name on the board, but is marked as "X79 turbo". Seems to be readily avialble on Aliexpress.

Whoever built it wanted to be absolutely sure there'd be a working PC speaker:



Blew money on that, but didn't invest any in a decent mobo???

Noname cooler:



Noname RAM to go with it:



At least they used a brand name CPU socket:



(as shown, it is indeed LGA 2011)

I bench tested the board one last time... nada. no lights or activity.

What I thought was an abnormally wide audio isolation slot is actually mobo bling bling... it's backlit!



(Yeah my bench is a bleeping disaster right now. Why the pics are selectively framed )

Turns out the PSU is actually an OCZ, not a noname gutless wonder?



Why I originally thought it had a noname gutless wonder was the use of jumper wires linking multiple GPU plugs together to save wire:



Then again, it is an OCZ:



...full of Samxon GF caps:



...in impossible to replace skinny sizes. Now I remember why the two 800W OCZ's I have are still in the junk box in my parents basement
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
What I thought was an abnormally wide audio isolation slot is actually mobo bling bling... it's backlit!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Why I originally thought it had a noname gutless wonder was the use of jumper wires linking multiple GPU plugs together to save wire
Those two things are actually pretty common today. From your description, I thought it would have only two wires running to each connector and jumpers to the other pins. I saw that once on a cheap power supply.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Quote:
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Those two things are actually pretty common today. From your description, I thought it would have only two wires running to each connector and jumpers to the other pins. I saw that once on a cheap power supply.
Goes to show how, despite being "young" (age 28.5), I'm way out of touch.

Wouldn't have thought on a cheapo board they'd go to the effort. It's not like with PcChips and the fake Cache IC's...

---

Need to figure out the rest of the system. Not sure if I should build new, or get a used newer OEM system and upgrade using the GPU and SSD. Ryzen's not worth the $$$ right now, and Intel's offerings are netburst 2.0 , so leaning towards the latter (or building with used/NOS parts).
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Find yourself matching Xeon to make a pair, and find an X10 variety of supermicro board and compete with 9th gen i7's. Plenty of comparisons of Dual E5 systems topping Core series systems. Especially, with games like Battlefield V that scale across all the cores you can give it.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

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Find yourself matching Xeon to make a pair, and find an X10 variety of supermicro board and compete with 9th gen i7's. Plenty of comparisons of Dual E5 systems topping Core series systems. Especially, with games like Battlefield V that scale across all the cores you can give it.
Preaching to the choir... If Topcat is the king of SM, I'm likely one of his princes. I have 5 SM based systems running with 4 more decommissioned. Every single one of them has a thread if you're curious. (but not in that order... The server and anything new enough to run Win10 is active, the windows 7 and lower units are retired. Also, two started as Tyan builds but were converted to SM when Tyan issues cropped up )

That said, I'm pretty sure the Xeon I have, being a 2xxx model, is single CPU only. Even if I went that road, I'd buy newer and better chips (I think Ivy Bridge uses the same socket?).

I'm not thinking that's the way to go since it's sorta going to be in the wild. Sure, it's my dad (who is a "Joe", but not Joe Stranger), but I try to avoid shipping out anything that's "special" like that unless it's somebody I *know* has the knowhow on such a thing runs and works.

Last edited by ratdude747; 03-01-2021 at 04:53 PM.. Reason: Lots of links to make a point :p
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

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Preaching to the choir... If Topcat is the king of SM, I'm likely one of his princes. I have 5 SM based systems running with 4 more decommissioned. Every single one of them has a thread if you're curious.

That said, I'm pretty sure the Xeon I have, being a 2xxx model, is single CPU only. Even if I went that road, I'd buy newer and better chips (I think Ivy Bridge uses the same socket?).

I'm not thinking that's the way to go since it's sorta going to be in the wild. Sure, it's my dad (not Joe Stanger), but I try to avoid shipping out anything that's "special" like that unless it's somebody I *know* has the knowhow on such a thing runs and works.
This post made me LOL hysterically!!
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:18 PM   #13
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This post made me LOL hysterically!!
But... are you the king, and if so, does that make me a prince?

(I also edited a few links... there's more than 9 threads; a few turned into other threads' systems).
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:38 PM   #14
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But... are you the king, and if so, does that make me a prince?
Indeed..... I don't know if I'd want to reveal jst how many decommissioned SM systems are floating around this place!
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Decided to look at the PSU closer... Those skinny caps are 6mm(ish) 470uf 16V Capxon's (Apparently they also make a GF series). Which, of course, literally nobody makes (at least on Digikey), let alone in a reputable brand rated for PSU usage and there isn't really room to go up in diameter. Thanks OCZ/FSP

I guess that makes the PSU scrap... Not sure it's worth the mess. Per a review I found, it dates back to 2008 (must have been NOS, the insides were very clean!), and was mainly praised for "value for cost"...
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Goes to show how, despite being "young" (age 28.5), I'm way out of touch.

Wouldn't have thought on a cheapo board they'd go to the effort. It's not like with PcChips and the fake Cache IC's...

---

Need to figure out the rest of the system. Not sure if I should build new, or get a used newer OEM system and upgrade using the GPU and SSD. Ryzen's not worth the $$$ right now, and Intel's offerings are netburst 2.0 , so leaning towards the latter (or building with used/NOS parts).
When it comes to gaming, get new.

You should consider an older ryzen. Like the 3600. It's faster than the i9-9900 for like $199

https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3...82E16819113569

motherboard
https://www.newegg.com/asus-tuf-gami...82E16813119357
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
When it comes to gaming, get new.

You should consider an older ryzen. Like the 3600. It's faster than the i9-9900 for like $199

https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3...82E16819113569

motherboard
https://www.newegg.com/asus-tuf-gami...82E16813119357
Noted. That said, he's not running 4K and anything super intensive... By no means heavy gaming. Seems something like that would be a bit overkill (and would make the 1060 the bottleneck?).
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

if it's 1080p, the bottleneck would usually be the video card. CPU would probably not be used much

But it makes it expandable for future games
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

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if it's 1080p, the bottleneck would usually be the video card. CPU would probably not be used much
Looks like it's the CPU these days for 1080p bottlenecking. (unless the video hardware is weak)

That does appear to be true OTOH for 1440p. (CPU not used as much for 1440p)

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Old 03-14-2021, 12:05 AM   #20
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Default Re: Building a gaming rig for my dad...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
When it comes to gaming, get new.

You should consider an older ryzen. Like the 3600. It's faster than the i9-9900 for like $199

https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3...82E16819113569

motherboard
https://www.newegg.com/asus-tuf-gami...82E16813119357
With a B450 motherboard, there's a possibility that the BIOS isn't even late enough to support Matisse! (the 3000 series, which is the third-gen Ryzen) Luckily, mine was.

Possibly need to get a B550 or an X570 motherboard to have a late-enough BIOS included. That's the problem, with B450 motherboards, might be required to flash with a Pinnacle Ridge! (the 2000 series, which is the second-gen Ryzen)

(Or a Picasso, which is an IGP Ryzen, that is also a second-gen-based Ryzen) (Ryzen 3x00Gs, despite being called "3x00", isn't third-gen-based)

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